I visited Stockholm, Sweden last fall and absolutely fell in love. (Bear with me on the meh photography in this post since they were taken before I had my Sony A6000 and before The Urbanite Insight was even born!) This city is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world, and is full of young and beautiful people - why are people so damn good looking in Stockholm!? We visited in September and got rain one day, but it was pretty good weather otherwise. Definitely colder than San Francisco though!
The city is so picturesque and historic looking. From the parks, harbor, architecture and bright colored buildings, everywhere you turn, you'll find a better photo opp. Stockholm is Sweden's capital city; it spans across 14 different islands and is connected by more than 50 different bridges.
Gamla Stan is the "old town" of Sweden and home to 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum. It's Stockholm's city center that's filled with tiny cobblestone streets, alleys and unique architecture! It reminded me a lot of a more colorful version of Barcelona's Gothic District.
My favorite area, aside from Gamla Stan, was Södermalm. Södermalm, often just called Söder, is both an island and neighborhood in Stockholm. It's been ranked as the "top 15 coolest neighborhoods in the world" by Vogue Magazine. Essentially, you'll find a lot of trendy restaurants, cafes and bars filled with beautiful hipsters. We stayed here and can attest to how "cool" it really is - I felt cooler just walking around there!
Stockholm is a huge bike city. It reminded me of Amsterdam (and UCSB) in the way the bike lanes are designed throughout the city. They are crowded and people take the biking rules seriously, so be alert when you are on the road! We biked all over the city as our Airbnb provided us with bikes - it was so convenient and the easiest way to get around. I recommend biking to Djurgården, which is basically the "Central Park" of Stockholm - full of gardens, walking/biking paths, and beautiful nature.
I had an absolute blast in Stockholm, and hope you get a chance to visit soon!
My Stockholm To-Do List
download it here!
Nook - dinner restaurant in Söder, Swedish/Korean fusion
Meatballs - For the People - amazing Swedish cuisine in Söder; trendy ambiance and affordable menu. Get a reservation before going.
Råkultur - Japanese/Nordic fusion (known as the best sushi in Stockholm)
Sodra Teatern - on the water in Söder and has live music various bars too
Oaxen Slip – amazing casual Swedish Bistro; get reservations!
Babbette – Casual Italian eatery
Drop Coffee – coffee shop in Soder, ranked #3 of coffee shops around the world
Gaston – wine bar in Gamla Stan
Berns – multi floor dance club
Pharmarium – the most creative cocktails; located right in Stortorget – great for views and people watching
Mosebacketerrassen - an awesome outdoor beer garden with unbeatable views overlooking the water and city
Walk around Gamla Stan
Stortorget – the main square/city center in Gamla Stan
Sveriges Kungahus - Royal Palace
Storkykran - Stockholm Cathedral
Walk the bridge from Gamla Stan to Söder at night
Walk or bike around Söder – hipsters’ paradise
Katarinahissen ("Katarina Elevator") – in Söder; it’s an old elevator that’s no longer working, but you can take the stairs up for panoramic views of the city
Vasa Museum – I’m not a big museum person, but this was one of the coolest I’ve been to. Definitely a must see! It’s a historic ship that sank in the 16th century, was recovered and restored.
Djurgården – the central park of Stockholm that’s full of gardens, walking paths and nature. Rent bikes and ride through here!
Skogskyrkogården – a cool cemetery built in pine woodland, about an hour south of Söder by train
Shopping downtown - they have a ton of cool boutiques!
Next, check out my Budapest travel guide!